Following a recent update that blocked some third-party ink cartridges fore its printers, HP formally apologized to customers this week for how it communicated about the change. Earlier this month, the company updated its firmware making cartridges made by other companies unusable on its printers. HP cited quality and security reasons for switching up its authentication process. Those third-party options are typically cheaper and as you might expect, customers weren’t happy about not being able to use those supplies.
In a blog post this week, HP admitted that it “should have done a better job of communicating about the authentication procedure.” The company says the reason for the update was to “ensure the best customer experience” and to block any third-party cartridges that don’t contain an HP security chip and infringe on its intellectual property. In other words, the company apologized for the lack of communication, but defended the decision to push the update.
To try and remedy the dust up with its customers, HP is offering an optional software update that will remove the recently added security feature. The company says it will take about two weeks for the second update to be ready, but when the time comes, customers can find information on it here.
“We will continue to use security features to protect the quality of our customer experience, maintain the integrity of our printing systems and protect our IP including authentication methods that may prevent some third-party supplies from working,” HP COO Jon Flaxman explained in the post.
Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and other big tech corporations have joined hands with the White House to help refugees across the globe. They were among the members of the private sector that answered the president’s Call to Action back in June. Now, the administration has published the complete list of participants, along with a short description of what they’re doing for the cause. Google has promised to fund and lend its technical expertise to non-government orgs providing free education to 10,000 out-of-school Lebanese kids. If you’ll recall, the big G also donated $5.3 million worth of Chromebooks to European refugees earlier this year.
Facebook plans to provide free WiFi connection in 35 locations across Greece, as well as to continue working with the UN to give people in refugee camps free access to the internet. Plus, the company will use its website to raise funds for them and to donate funds to NGOs catering to their needs. As for Microsoft, it plans to help NGOs provide wider access to education and training. The company also wants to build an Innovation Hub, where refugees can develop their technical and entrepreneurial skills.
HP has a similar plan, with the aim to build six Learning Studios in Lebanon and Jordan for kids and adults. The same goes for Coursera, which will team up with NGOs to give refugees access to over 1,000 courses offered by universities. Since some refugees still need to learn English or to brush up on their vocabulary before they can jump into learning skills, Zynga is making an educational version of Words with Friends. The social video game-maker will also provide experts to mentor the finalists of a competition that aims to create an app that can teach Syrian children to read in Arabic.
Uber’s and LinkedIn’s projects, on the other hand, will benefit those looking to start working ASAP the most. The former will team up with resettlement agencies in the US to offer refugees work opportunities, while the latter is expanding its refugee initiative called Welcoming Talent to countries outside of Sweden. The other familiar companies in the list are IBM, Twitter and TripAdvisor. IBM promises to continue supporting European refugees and migrants any way it can, while TripAdvisor has already earmarked $5 million for humanitarian organizations. Finally, Twitter is giving NGOs in the US and Europe a $50,000 “Ads for Good” advertising grant.
In the White House’s Call to Action months ago, the administration stressed refugees’ potential to contribute to the countries they fled to if given the opportunity. The companies that decided to pitch in could open those windows of opportunity that might remain close otherwise.
“There are more than 65 million displaced people in the world today, the highest number on record since the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) began collecting statistics. More than 21 million of these people have crossed international borders in search of safety and are registered as refugees. The despair that drives these people to flee their homes is heartbreaking, but their resilience is awe-inspiring. Refugees are a valuable, untapped resource and, if given the opportunity, can thrive and contribute wherever they reside.”
Source: White House
Samsung’s board has approved the sale of its printer operation to HP for $1.05 billion “to concentrate on its core business areas,” it said in a press release. It plans to spin off the printer division into a separate company as of November 1st, then sell it its US rival, pending shareholder approval. Samsung’s printer business employs 6,000 people and sold 2 trillion won ($1.8 billion) in printers in 2015.
In its own news release, HP said that the deal is the largest print acquisition in its history. The US company sees it as an opportunity to “disrupt and reinvent the $55 billion copier industry, a segment that hasn’t innovated in decades.” It aims to basically to replace copiers completely with multi-function printers. “Copiers are outdated, complicated machines with dozens of replaceable parts requiring inefficient service and maintenance agreements,” it said.
Samsung says it will “source printers from HP and continue to market [them] in Korea under the Samsung brand.” For its part, HP has a long term deal with Canon to sell its printers and copiers. The US company recently launched “Multi Jet Fusion” 3D printing tech, and plans to release 3D printers this year starting at what is a apparently a relatively low $120,000.
HP will get Samsung’s 6,500-strong patent portfolio and 1,300 engineers and researchers. Samsung Vice-Chairman Jay Y. Lee — heir apparent to Chairman Kun-Hee Lee — will also take a seat on HP’s board of directors. HP mentioned that the acquisition will bring “cost synergies,” which is often a codified way of saying “layoffs.” There’s no word on how severe those could be, but the company is hosting a press conference in a couple of hours, so we’ll update this article if need be. The deal is expected to be finalized within a year.
Via: The Verge
While Intel is busy revamping its laptop processors, AMD is focused on the desktop side of personal computing. The chip designer has started shipping its 7th-generation A-series processors in desktop PCs, starting with machines from HP and Lenovo. The CPUs are based around as many as four Excavator cores, rather than the coveted Zen cores you’ve heard about lately, but that should still get you a lot of performance per watt. If you believe AMD, its 35- and 65-watt processors deliver the kind of speed that previously took over 90 watts — the A12-9800 is about as fast in a general computing benchmark (PCMark) as Intel’s Core i5-6500, and roughly twice as fast in graphics (3DMark) if you’re relying on integrated video.
As you might guess from the testing, visual performance plays a big role. On top of a newer DirectX 12-friendly graphics architecture, the new processors tout native video decoding for 4K video in both H.264 and H.265 formats, taking a large load off of your system while you’re watching Ultra HD movies.
The efficiency angle is a familiar one for AMD, and not surprising given that it’s the company’s main advantage. You’re still looking at higher-end Intel Core i5 and i7 chips if you’re focused on raw performance in a desktop. With that said, this may be worthwhile if you want a glimpse at AMD’s future. The 7th-gen A-series is the first processor line based on AMD’s new AM4 platform and the interfaces that come with it, including support for USB 3.1 and NVMe solid-state drives. At least some of the technology you see here will carry on for multiple hardware generations.
Source: AMD (1), (2)
Is that a speaker? Or a router? Those are questions my colleague actually asked me when I showed him my photos of the HP Pavilion Wave. He was wrong on both counts, but it’s easy to see why he was confused. The Pavilion Wave is a 10-inch tall desktop that will be available Sept 23 for a starting price of $550, and from my brief experience with a preview version, it’ll be a beautiful, adequate addition to a modern house.
HP was able to squeeze a sixth-generation Intel chip, up to 16GB of RAM, up to 2TB hard drive (or 1TB solid state drive) into this compact tower thanks to a triangular, tri-chamber design. Inside the device are three separate zones that house the motherboard, a hard drive and thermals. These three chambers surround a speaker, which pumps out sound upwards. At the top of the tower is a parabolic reflector which then sends the music out in 360 degrees, and also acts as a vent to let out heat.
The Pavilion Wave was designed around its audio system, and I enjoyed the crisp, round notes coming out of the speaker during our demo. It offers Bang & Olufsen Play tuning for enhanced sound in low, mid or high ranges.
Unlike other traditional desktop towers, or even HP’s fancier gaming ones, the Pavilion Wave blends in with the rest of most home furniture. It’s not small enough to be completely inconspicuous, but I appreciate its subtle understated design.
If you want to fully deck out your home office, the Wave is there for you, too. With three USB 3.0 ports and slots for USB 3.1 Type C, HDMI, DisplayPort, Gigabit ethernet and microphone/headphone, there are plenty of connectivity options. The PC will also support up to two 4K displays at once, and its onboard dual microphones make it ready to listen for your Cortana voice commands.
During our demo, the Pavilion Wave correctly heard a request for the weather, and Cortana returned the answer through the device’s speaker. Although it has Bluetooth capability, the Wave can’t be used as a standalone wireless speaker, but you can always play your music through the Windows 10 OS, then shut off your monitor to get a similar experience.
While it’s easy to get a mini PC to replace your chunky desktop tower, those machines don’t often provide satisfying power for intensive tasks. The Pavilion Wave, despite its familiar looks, could be a great option for those who need speedy performance in a pretty, relatively petite package.
We’re live all week from Berlin, Germany, for IFA 2016. Click here to catch up on all the news from the show.
I think HP’s completely sick of making traditional-looking desktops and is out to make them look like anything but. In addition to a PC that looks like it was shoved inside a Bang & Olufsen speaker, the computer maker also released the Elite Slice modular desktop. And it looks like a cross between Discman, a router, and a set top box. Despite that weird combination, I actually really like the Elite Slice — not just for its looks, but also for what it does.
HP’s not the first to make modular components for a PC. Lenovo actually brought that idea to life with its Thinkpad Stack last year. But the Stack was a set of magnetic accessories for your laptop, whereas the Slice is a standalone PC with modules that you can snap on to add capabilities. Plus, HP’s device just looks so much slicker.
The Elite Slice is designed for business and office use, and its base model’s specs (and $700 price) reflect that. The 2.31-pound device houses an up to sixth-generation Intel Core i7 and runs Windows 10 Pro. It also offers enterprise-level security software, including HP BIOSphere and HP Sure Start to detect and manage threats. You can hook up displays, keyboards and mice to the system through the two USB 3.1 Type-C, two USB 2.0, DisplayPort and HDMI ports. The base unit also comes with ethernet and headphone/microphone jacks, as well as onboard dual mics and an optional fingerprint sensor.
But the modularity is where it gets interesting. Each module, including the PC piece, has a USB C-like port, called the HP Slice Connector, on its bottom. These let you connect more components to the PC. At launch, you can pick add-ons such as an audio module (with Bang & Olufsen enhancements), an optical disk drive and what HP calls a Collaboration Cover.
We saw this accessory in action at a demo. Place it on top of the Slice, and it turns the desktop into a Skype for Business phone (if you have a subscription). With the cover on, you can initiate a preset Skype call just by touching a capacitive button on the shell. Each Slice with the Collaboration module can have its own Skype number, effectively setting up a phone network without actual phone lines.
During our preview, HP guided us through making a call by tapping the green phone button. After the call connected, we spoke to an HP rep who demonstrated the onboard mic’s ability to pick up his voice even as he walked to the other end of a small room. He explained that he didn’t need to raise his voice, and indeed, he didn’t appear to do so. And regardless of his distance from his own Slice, his voice didn’t get dramatically softer.
In 2017, HP will also offer a wireless charging cover that will let you recharge your compatible devices by dropping them on top of the Slice.
Although the add-on selection is limited for now, the Elite Slice is definitely an attractive, intriguing option for crowded offices that need portable desktops and want to do away with traditional phones. In the meantime, I’m holding out for a consumer-friendlier version for my tiny apartment.
We’re live all week from Berlin, Germany, for IFA 2016. Click here to catch up on all the news from the show.
Until recently, if you wanted a Chromebook, you had two distinct choices: splurge on a Pixel, or settle for something cheap and pokey. Lately, though, we’ve seen a few entries that aim to do something different: offer better design and performance for just a modest premium. The latest is the HP Chromebook 13 ($499 and up), which brings a high-res 3,200 x 1,800 screen, comfortable keyboard and trackpad, up to a Core m7 processor and as much as 16GB of memory.
Obviously, though, the tricked-out version will cost you a little more than $499 ($1,029, to be precise). Indeed, we don’t recommend most people spend that much on a machine running Chrome OS. For most people, the base level model, which has a Pentium chip, will be enough. Even then, you can expect decent speeds for everyday use, along with the same sharp screen and comfy typing experience you’d get otherwise. That caveat aside, we’d also warn you about the battery life: It’s not as long as on competing Chromebooks, precisely because of that pixel-dense screen. That doesn’t mean we don’t recommend it — just that it’s not the all-around winner it appears to be on paper.
Now you can watch all the adult content you want on the go. HP has designed a new integrated privacy screen in partnership with 3M to combat what the company calls “visual hacking.” In other words: creepers looking over your shoulder. The Sure View screen will be available on touchscreen versions of the company’s Elitebook 840 and 1040 laptops in September, and on nontouch ones in October. I got an early look at the new panels, which were mostly useful and effective.
Sure View eliminates the need to stick an additional privacy filter onto your screen, which can be cumbersome and annoying. Plus, privacy filters cost between $30 and $80 a pop, and if you damage or lose one, that can be a pricey replacement. So it’s easy to see why this implementation is a benefit.
HP also made it pretty easy to activate the privacy mode. You’ll just have to hit Fn + F2 to switch it on and off. This worked quickly and seamlessly when I saw it at an HP demo, and as I moved from side to side, the contents on the screen did get blacked out once I was at more than 10 degrees away.
While it’s easy to imagine this feature being used for sketchy media consumption in public places, Sure View actually has a lot of practical uses. It would probably be most helpful to business people dealing with sensitive financial information or updating classified presentations on the go.
Pricing is still being determined. On some higher-end configurations of the 840 and 1040 notebooks, which start at $1,249 and $1,449 respectively, the Sure View fee could be absorbed. The screen add-on could cost up to $75 in other setups. If you frequently deal with sensitive data in public, you might want to check out the new notebooks come September. In the meantime, you should really check out the pictures in the gallery of random people creeping on HP laptop users to know what you’re dealing with.
Gamers have many reasons why they steer clear of desktops from big-name brands, but one of the biggest is the poor expansion. You may have fewer upgrade slots (if any) versus a white label or home-built rig, and you’ll frequently have to contend with non-standard parts. HP thinks it can make you reconsider, however. It’s refreshing its Omen gaming PCs once again, and the highlight is a completely new Omen X Desktop that promises both the perks of a major company’s industrial design with the expansion that you crave. That cube-on-its-side look is not only relatively unique in a sea of generic towers, but genuinely functional. Its three-chamber structure separates hot components while giving you room for expansion that includes dual graphics cards, four tool-free hard drive bays and an M.2 SSD. Also, this is an industry-standard chassis — HP will sell you the barebones case if you prefer to supply your own internals, and Maingear will even build its own beastly gaming PC around the box in early 2017.
There’s one thing you won’t escape from major brand gaming PCs, though: the price. The Omen X Desktop will be available at HP’s website on August 17th for a starting price of $1,799, and that will get you an overclockable 4GHz Core i7, 8GB of RAM, Radeon RX 480 graphics, a 256GB SSD, a 2TB hard drive and a monstrous 1,300W power supply. That’s definitely not the most powerful system you could get for the money, and it’s going to get pricier if you want perks like a GeForce GTX 1080 or 16GB of RAM (the retail config due October 16th starts at $2,100). What you’re really paying for is that exotic shell. By itself, the case costs $600 — potentially worth it if you want the easy-access drives or a conversation piece, but overkill for most anyone else.
And don’t worry if you weren’t in the market for an over-the-top desk machine, as there’s more Omen hardware in the pipeline. An updated Omen 17 laptop now packs NVIDIA’s portable version of the GTX 1060 or GTX 1070 as well as a mini DisplayPort jack, making it friendly to both VR and dual external screens. It starts at $1,600. There’s also an Omen X Curved Display with support for NVIDIA’s extra-smooth G-Sync tech (due in early 2017 for an unknown price) and a range of SteelSeries accessories that include a customizable mouse ($60), a light-up keyboard ($100) and a headset ($80). All of the SteelSeries extras should arrive in mid-September.
Cherlynn Low contributed to this report.
With the GeForce GTX 1080, NVIDIA pushed the boundaries of what a $600 graphics card can do. That flagship card was joined by the GTX 1070 and GTX 1060, two lower-power cards based on the same 16nm Pascal architecture at a much more affordable price. Now, it’s bringing mobile versions of those cards that match their desktop counterparts in almost every area — including being VR ready.
That’s not hyperbole. The top-of-the-line 1080M has 2,560 CUDA cores and 8GB of 10Gbps GDDR5x memory. The desktop chip has the same. The only difference is clock speed: it’s set at 1,556MHz, while the desktop version is 1,607MHz. The two do share the same boost clock (1,733MHz) though, and both have access to all the new technology introduced for the Pascal architecture. That means simultaneous multi-projection, VRWorks, Ansel and the rest.
If you want an idea what those specs translate to in real-world performance, how’s this: when paired with an i7-6700HQ (a quad-core 2.6GHz chip with 3.5GHz turbo), Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, 126; Overwatch, 147; Doom, 145; Metro Last Light, 130; Rise of the Tomb Raider, 125. Those are the 1080M’s FPS figures when playing at 1080p with “ultra” settings at 120Hz. NVIDIA is really pushing 120Hz gaming, and many of the first crop of Pascal laptops will have 120Hz G-Sync displays.
4K gaming, too, is more than possible. At 4K with “high” settings the same setup can push 89FPS on Overwatch, 70FPS with Doom, and 62FPS with Metro Last Light (according to NVIDIA). Only Mirror’s Edge Catalyst and Rise of the Tomb Raider fall short of 60FPS, both clocking in at a very playable 52FPS. At the chip’s UK unveil, NVIDIA showed the new Gears of War playing in 4K in real-time, and there were absolutely no visible frame drops. With figures like that, it goes without saying that VR will be no problem for the 1080M. The desktop GTX 980 is the benchmark for both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, and the 1080M blows it away. If you’re looking for more performance, the 1080M supports overclocking of course — NVIDIA suggests as high as 300MHz — and you can expect laptops sporting two in an SLI configuration soon.
The major drawback for the 1080M is power. We don’t know its exact TDP yet, but given the near-identical desktop version runs at 180W, you’d imagine it’s got to be at least 150W. NVIDIA has tech that counters that heavy power load when you’re not plugged in, of course. Chief among these is BatteryBoost, which allows you to set a framerate (i.e. 30FPS), and downclocks the GPU appropriately to save power — if your card is capable of pushing 147FPS plugged in, that’s going to be a fair amount of power saved. Whatever the battery savings possible, though, it won’t change the fact that the 1080M is only going to slide into big laptops.
That’s fine for those already used to carrying around behemoths on the go, but plenty of gamers prefer something more portable. Enter the 1070M. NVIDIA says this chip will fit into any chassis that currently handles the 980M, which covers a lot of laptops.
Just like the 1080M, the 1070M matches its desktop sibling in many ways. You’ve actually got slightly more in the way of CUDA cores — 2,048 vs. the desktop’s 1,920, but again they’re clocked slower (1,442MHz vs. 1,506MHz). Memory is the same — 8GB 8Gbps GDDR5 — and it too benefits from both the Pascal architecture itself and the new software features that come with it.
|Memory||8GB GDDR5X||8GB GDDR5X||8GB GDDR5||8GB GDDR5|
When faced off against the desktop 1070, the 1070M holds its own. In nearly every test we saw, it got within a couple of percentiles of the desktop card. We’re talking 77FPS in The Witcher 3 (1080p maxed settings, no HairWorks) vs. 79.7FPS on the 1070; 76.2FPS in The Division (1080p ultra) vs. 76.6FPS; and 64.4FPS in Crysis 3 (1080p very high) vs. 66.4FPS. The one outlier was Grand Theft Auto V, which dropped down to 65.3FPS vs. 73.7FPS on the desktop 1070. 4K gaming is a stretch on the desktop 1070, and that carries over here, but this card is more-than VR ready. NVIDIA says that it’ll support factory overclocking on the 1070M soon, so you may see laptops offering a little more grunt “in a couple of months.”
Rounding off the lineup is the 1060M, the mobile version of NVIDIA’s $249 “budget” VR-ready card. It’s something of the exception to the rule here. Yes, it offers 1,280 CUDA cores and 6GB 8Gbps GDDR5 memory, which is equal to the desktop 1060. But at the lower end of the range the fact that they’re clocked lower (1,404MHz vs. 1,506MHz) hurts performance quite a bit more. In side-by-side comparisons, NVIDIA’s benchmarks suggest you’ll get within ten percent or so of the desktop card. That’s not to say that the 1060M is a slouch. For traditional gaming, you’re not going to hit 60FPS at 1080P in every game without thinking about settings, but if you can play it on a desktop GTX 980, it’s probably a safe bet that the 1060M can handle it. That’s insanely impressive when you consider that the 1060M will fit into the same chassis as the 970M — think “ultra portable” gaming laptops.
|Memory||6GB GDDR5*||6GB GDDR5||4GB GDDR5|
In reality, the 10-percent gap between the 1060 and the 1060M probably makes it slightly slower than the GTX 980, but the difference is almost negligible. I wasn’t able to push the 1060M too hard on the “VR ready” promise — you can read about the demo and why the 1060M matters in a separate article — but the demo I had was solid. And really, being able to plug an Oculus into something as slim as a Razer Blade was unthinkable a few months ago, so it’s probably best not to complain.
Acer, Alienware, Asus, Clevo, EVGA, HP, Gigabyte, Lenovo, MSI, Origin, Razer, Sager and XMG are just some of the OEMs signed up to make laptops with the new Pascal chips. Many will announce updated and all-new models today, while some might hold off a while. But expect lots of super-powerful, VR-ready gaming laptops very soon.